By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Pinkerton Academy and local police hope to improve radio communication and will install new equipment at the high school.
Town councilors approved a measure to accept grant money for Pinkerton to purchase new radio transmitter and receiver equipment for installation on the school campus.
This will improve the signals between school and police.
“We noticed our police radios had trouble transmitting and receiving signals from the new Freshman Building,” Derry police Capt. George Feole said.
The radio system was not functioning well inside the school’s newest building due to its updated construction materials and other features that made for some cloudy transmission.
Feole said the building’s high-efficiency glass and concrete kept radio success to a minimum and it was time to do something to fix the problem.
“Studies were done to see how to solve the problem,” he said.
The best solution turned out to be to install new antennae and other equipment on the campus, something Pinkerton Academy offered to purchase and install.
Since the price would likely exceed $5,000, councilors needed to hold a public hearing and voted, 7-0, to accept.
Once the equipment is installed, Feole said Pinkerton would then pass ownership to the town.
Any future cost to the town would come only if there were an equipment failure, which is unlikely, Feole said.
“This is an example of the partnership between Pinkerton Academy and the police department,” he said. “Headmaster Mary Anderson does a good job enhancing public safety and we applaud her.”
Pinkerton is constructing building new buildings to house its updated Career and Technical Education programs. Feole said those new facilities will be successfully on line with the new radio equipment with no problem.
“The proximity of the new equipment will be close enough to all buildings to take care of any problems that may occur,” he said.
In addition to the Pinkerton Academy radio efforts, councilors also approved accepting a grant for six portable radios for the police department in the amount of $21,795. Police will receive new Motorola APX 7000 radios, including carrying cases, batteries and microphones.